DNA Methylation

Abstract

DNA methylation occurs in most living organisms and is the enzyme‐mediated transfer of a methyl group from S‐adenosyl‐l‐methionine to specific cytosine or adenine bases within the genome of that organism. The biological consequences of DNA methylation are thought to be diverse, ranging from resistance to bacteriophage infection in microorganisms to the programming of gene expression in mammals.

Keywords: epigenetics; restriction and modification; S‐adenosyl‐l‐methionine; DNA methyltransferase; methyl transfer; cytosine; adenine; 5‐methylcytosine

References

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Further Reading

Kornberg A and Baker TA (1992) DNA Replication, 2nd edn. New York: WH Freeman.

Noyer‐Wiedner M and Trautner TA (1993) Methylation of DNA in prokaryotes. In: Jost J‐P and Saluz HP (eds) DNA Methylation: Molecular Biology and Biological Significance, pp. 39–108. Basel: Birkhauser.

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How to Cite close
Hornby, David P(Mar 2002) DNA Methylation. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001165]